CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) hosted more than 470 students for its State Social Studies Fair on Friday, per a release from the WVDE.

According to the WVDE, “the West Virginia Social Studies Fair is designed to recognize and reward outstanding achievements of social studies students and encourage students to enhance their research, communication skills, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, and interpersonal and self-directional development.”

The fair was hosted at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center with students in grades 3-12 from all across the state competing in various categories. Competing projects were composed of winners that had already won their respective school, county and regional events. The projects were all judged on oral presentation, theme and research, and display and abstract.

The categories for this year’s event were as follows:

  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • State and Local Studies
  • U.S History
  • World History

“It is rewarding to see the response to this year’s Social Studies Fair with more than 300 entries and 470 students,” said State Superintendent of Schools David L. Roach. “This level of participation represents the enthusiasm and value students, teachers and families find in the Fair. This is an example of experiential learning that students will remember for the rest of their lives.”

The WVDE said that the fair hosted the most entries this year than any other year in recent memory. The fair launched for the first time in 1977 in Huntington with help from Marshall University and a group of West Virginia social studies teachers. The event was later moved to Charleston, where it has remained ever since.

For more information about this year’s fair including official results, click here.